A Green New Deal Must Include Food and Farming

By Congressperson Earl Blumenauer in civileats.com. posted 1/30/19   

Our food system and environment are inexorably linked. What we grow–and how we grow it–has a tremendous impact on our land, water, and climate. And right now, our climate is in crisis. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the gold standard for climate science, implores the world to cut greenhouse gas pollution by half in the next 12 years, and eliminate them entirely by 2050, to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate disruption on people, economies, and the natural world. We must build solid, lasting bonds between the climate justice movement and the movement to reform our food system. This starts with a Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal is an incredibly powerful social, economic, and environmental effort to invest in clean energy jobs and infrastructure. While the exact details have yet to be worked out, underlying this movement is a series of policy proposals to stop investing in fossil fuel development and redirect these resources toward decarbonizing the economy and making it more equitable.

Fueled by immense social power, it is designed to build on Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s sweeping New Deal that invested in natural resource conservation, built massive public works projects, and reformed financial institutions in order to pull the country out of the economic crisis of the Great Depression. Today, the Green New Deal is intended to make massive investments and reforms on the same scale in order to pull the world out of the climate crisis.

But the Green New Deal won’t have the impact we need it to without a fundamental change to the way we produce our food. As of 2016, American agriculture contributed over 9% of US greenhouse gas pollution, largely due to emissions from livestock and poor soil management. If we are to reach the climate goals set by the IPCC, the food system must play a key role in reducing these greenhouse gas emissions and even sequestering carbon—actually taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere—through regenerative agricultural practices.   

(to read the whole article, https://civileats.com/2019/01/30/a-green-new-deal-must-include-food-and-farming